There's usually a formula that you follow as a major artist when dropping an album: Announce the title and release date; drop some singles; do some interviews and promo.
Jermaine isn't pulling quite the stunt that Bey did when she dropped an album unexpectedly last December, but he is going about the release of his upcoming third album in an unusual way.
"What up? My New Album is finished," Cole wrote in the description of 2014 Forest Hills Drive in a video he posted on Sunday night. "It's called 2014 Forest Hills Drive and it's very special to me. It's available everywhere on 12/9. This time I'm releasing no singles, just the album. See you in 3 weeks. Thank you for the love and support."
The accompanying seven-minute clip brings the Roc Nation MC back to his native Fayetteville, North Carolina, for some good times and reflection. He hits the skating rink, goes to his old high school, and points out the spot where his first ever rap cypher went down.
"There's a lot of people in Hollywood right now who have been there for a long time, and they've forgotten about their small-town lives, because they like this life better," he says at one point. "This sh-- ain't real."
What is real is the place where he grew up and the people he grew up around; the album is named for the street he lived on as a kid.
"I had to put blinders on for a long time to focus on career, career, career. What suffers in the meantime is my relationship with my mother; my relationship with my brother; my relationship with my girl."
"The real sh-- is permanent, and forever," he says. "The artificial shit, you gotta keep chasing it."
2014 Forest Hills Drive drops on December 9, and you can pre-order it now.